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  • Day35

    Racing about Rabat

    September 16 in Morocco ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    It’s only an hour train trip to travel the 90-kilometres from Casablanca to Rabat. Rabat, founded in the 12th century by the Almohads, is the capital city and the administrative hub of the country. When we boarded the train, people were already sitting in our seats, enjoying the first class carriage. But I'm not too sure what made this first class. It looked like any other suburban train. With some pigeon French and pointing, we figured out the seating arrangements.

    We decided to include Rabat as a stopover to see another part of the country and to break up the journey to Fes. This time, there were no dramas with check-in. Immediately, the atmosphere seemed different to Marrakech and Casablanca. The people seemed friendly and the city looked relatively clean.

    We had little time to waste so we set out for the old Medina and Kasbah. On our way, we stumbled upon the Martyrs Cemetery, a sea of graves near the seaside. The cemetery is on prime land near the beach, and it is divided into the elite versus the commoners. The differences between the classes is visibly evident. The gravestones of the elite are neatly arranged, while the commoners section seems to be in disarray and includes unmarked burials.

    Unlike Marrakech, the Medina was subdued, with very little spruiking going on. It may have helped that it was the Sabbath and most people were at mosque until the afternoon (except many of the shopkeepers). This gave us an opportunity to acquire some Morrocan wares at a fraction of the Marrakech prices. We walked away with a beautifully decorated silver teapot, with matching tray and glasses. The hunt is on to find matching accessories.

    The following day, we returned early to the Medina to continue our shopping spree, leaving the markets with new leather jackets. Now, the issue was going to be how we were going to get it all home. Easily solved. Let’s buy new backpacks.

    Laden like a pack-mule, we checked out of our hotel and made our way to the train station for our next leg of our Moroccan misadventures. It would have been handy to actually have a mule to carry some of our stuff.

    We had some time to kill so we rested with our entourage of bags. As usual, a stranger was drawn to me, mumbling something in French. The typical conversation ensued; we spoke about where we were from and how we can’t speak French well. The conversation nearly always ends with a request for money. Apparently I'm not to talk anymore, otherwise a stranger may cut my throat. It seems a bit dramatic, Jason.

    By the way, Jason’s Lost World continues to escalate. This time, he thought he'd lost his Kindle. Fortunately, I’ve rid myself of the dreaded Lost World syndrome.

    Next stop: Fes.
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